It's a Deal

by Robert Friedman


“Welcome to Resurrection Hardware. How can I help you today?”

“Oh, just browsing. I understand there’s a sale on?”

“Yes, there certainly is. Buy one resurrected myth, religious figure, fairy tale, pop cultural artifact, overpriced tape measure, or blatant incarnation of baby boomer nostalgia, and get the second one free.”

“In other words, two resurrections for the price of one?”


“Sounds like quite a deal. May I ask a question?”

“Of course. That’s what I’m here for.”

“Is it true that your whole staff consists of resurrected myths and fairy tales?”

“Oh, yes. We have them all. It’s one of those special things that helps set us apart from, say, Brookstone.”

“Amazing. Who’s on the schedule today?”

“Well, Thor can help you out with hammers and other tools. Prometheus is the go-to guy on fireplace implements. Rapunzel is our hair care guru. I can tell you whatever you need to know about mattresses. Can I interest you in a Slinky, by the way? Or an Etch-a-Sketch?”

“No, thank you. Mattresses?”

“Yes, of course. I’m Sleeping Beauty.”

“I should have guessed.”

“No need to guess, sir. Just check out my nametag.”

“I knew you looked familiar. I saw the Disney cartoon when I was a kid.”

“Everyone did. Flowing gown, long blonde tresses, Nordic profile, etc. Of course, I never dressed this way during my earlier tenure on the earthly plane. But people seem disappointed when I wear anything else. They want their fairy tales to be consistent. It’s comforting to them – just like this $2,200.00 steel desk that’s remarkably similar to the one your father bought for $5.00 at a garage sale in 1973.”

“Isn’t Sleeping Beauty an odd choice for a greeter?”

“I suppose you could say that. But doesn’t my myth symbolize a pre-feminist ideal of rescue and redemption through love?”

“Beats me. I thought it symbolized narcolepsy.”

“Oh, now you’re being silly. But I kind of like it.”

“I’m so glad.”

“Anyway, men come in here and buy stuff to avoid hurting my tender feelings. I think they all feel bad about not saving me. Let’s face it, though, there’s no bigger fairy tale than that kind of redemption. You can’t just sleep through life passively waiting for someone to come along. You’ve got to wake up, stand tall, and take the bull by the horns.”

“Or the Minotaur, as the case may be.”

“Minotaur? Third aisle on the right.”


“Thanks. Of course, I do nap during my breaks. I’m a world-class napper.”

“Makes sense.”

“Are you sure I can’t help you with something today, sir?”

“You know, perhaps you can. I need a wedding gift.”

“Ah, and is the happy couple registered?”

“No, they’re not. To tell you the truth, it’s kind of a spur-of-the-moment wedding. Why the charming frown?”

“It sounds, well, inappropriate. I am known for my purity.”

“Yes, of course you are. There’s nothing inappropriate about this wedding, though. It’s a case of true love that leads to a lifetime of happy endings.”


“What a lovely smile.”

“Why, thank you, sir. As you can imagine, I’m quite fond of such situations.”

“As am I. What do you recommend? I’m thinking of a wedding chariot.”

“Fourth row on the left, next to the stylish combination fireplace poker, MP3 player and cell phone.”

“I see. Do you have a smaller chariot, with fewer fiery white stallions? That one is a bit big.”

“It only comes in one size. Is space a consideration?”

“Well, they’ll be living in a one-bedroom condo. No pets.”

“I’d steer away from the chariot, then. What about a myth? That’s always a lovely gift, and a real space-saver besides.”

“Do you have anything Sumerian? I’ve always admired the epic of Gilgamesh.”

“Well, to be honest, I’m not really the go-to girl on myths. Our manager, Zeus, might be able to help you there.”

“Is he in today?”

“He’s out on break.”

“Will he be back soon?”

“Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing. He’s preoccupied these days with one of those tattooed and pierced girls over at Starbucks. It’s a bit of a distraction. I just hope the poor girl knows what she’s getting into. Hera turned the last Starbucks girl he liked into a decaf vanilla latte. You know how jealous Hera can be.”

“Doesn’t everyone?”

“I hope you don’t mind my saying this, but I’m starting to think there’s something very familiar about you as well.”


“Yes. And it’s not just your broad shoulders, tousled hair, and aristocratic features.”

“Well, maybe we’ve met before.”

“I know. But how lame is it to suggest that?”

“Pretty lame. On the other hand, enchantment can take many forms. Maybe we have met in some other time and place.”

“You mean like down the hall at the frozen yogurt stand?”


“You sound so moody, romantic, and forlorn. I can feel the epic longing in your wholesome soul. Who are you really?”

“You already know the answer in your heart.”

“Wow. Maybe I do. But tell me, anyway.”

“I’m Prince Charming.”

“Shit, that’s the best news I’ve heard all day. And you’re here to rescue me?”


“And that wedding – it’s ours?”

“I can only hope and pray, m’lady.”

“Listen, my shift ends in two hours. Let’s grab a burger and talk about rescuing each other.”

“It’s a deal.”


Robert Douglas Friedman is a short story writer and humorist whose work has appeared in Story Quarterly, Narrative, Slow Trains, The Satirist, Penny Shorts, and many other publications. He lives in New Jersey.